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How to go on living after it happens to you

A poem

Published on:
July 11, 2018
Read time:
1 min.
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I shaved every place where you been boy
I said I shaved every place where you been

—Tori Amos

Cut your hair.
Stop biting your fingernails.
Bleach the bedsheets twice a week.
Pay off your debts.
Collect several new journals.

Sharpen every pencil in the house.
Clean out the closets.
Get tested for HIV.
Salt and shovel the sidewalk.
Take the dog to suggested appointments.

Memorize your holy book.
Wear an apron when you cook.
Grip your keys between knuckles.
Find the missing socks.
Move.

Buy one loud clock
for every room in your new house.
Each tick will mark you in attendance.
Paint them all red.
Bear witness to their dripping.

Sit up straight.
Floss your teeth before communion.
Murder your womanhood.
Replace any dead batteries.
Laugh when others laugh.

Use a grapefruit knife responsibly.
Baptize yourself each weekend.
Scour the name whore off your forehead.
Chew and swallow food.
Save the entire planet.

Create and kill more cells.
Gasp for a deeper breath.
Hold a machete to your throat.     Pause. 
Remember you still own
candles that have never been lit.

Cyndie Randall
Cyndie Randall is a writer with a poetry degree and a therapist who once lived in a psych hospital. She believes the telling and hearing of an honest story leads to the sacred, healing ground of connection. Cyndie lives with her nature-loving family in a little town on Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Theirs is the house with the loud and never-ending music. You can find Cyndie on Twitter, Facebook, or at cyndierandall.com.

Cover image  by Alex Boyd.

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